Chicago celebrates World Series victory with parade, rally

A parade and rally was held in downtown Chicago to celebrate the 2016 World Series win ​for Chicago Cubs players and fans Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (WLFI Photo)
A parade and rally was held in downtown Chicago to celebrate the 2016 World Series win ​for Chicago Cubs players and fans Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (WLFI Photo)

CHICAGO (WLFI) — It was a day of celebration in Chicago, as the city was rocking Friday with fans lining the streets and cramming into Grant Park for the Cubs World Series parade and rally.

Chicago Cubs fans have gone through an emotional roller coaster this past week. With falling behind 3-1 in the World Series, then climbing back to even it up, everything depended on Game 7. With the victory, there hasn’t been much sleep in Chicago these past few days.

After 108 years of waiting for their team, fans were anxious to get Friday’s festivities started.

Once the gates opened at 8 a.m. at Grant Park, it was like a stampede — hundreds of thousands of people sprinted in trying to get the best spot.

“This is world-history, breaking news. This is fabulous; this is worth calling off work,” Cubs fan and rally attendee Deborah Rosa said. “I didn’t even lie; I told the truth. I called in and said, ‘I gotta go to the rally. Not coming in, sorry.'”

Deborah Rosa and her daughter, Veronika, both called in sick Friday to witness history.

They, along with millions of other Cubs fans watched as the parade took off from Wrigley Field around 11 a.m. CST and made its way up Lake Shore Drive to Grant Park for the rally. Players exited the double-decker buses and took the stage to address the crowd with funny stories and great memories from the season.

“I told my teacher and she was like, ‘Where are you going to be?’ And I said, ‘The Cubs rally.’ And she started laughing,” Veronika Rosa said.

But it wasn’t just Cubs fans at the event, Pierre Charmasson is a from San Diego and said he wasn’t going to miss an opportunity such as this one.

“I’ve never been to a major event like this in my entire life,” he said. “I’m actually just dumbfounded, almost speechless. It’s amazing.”

The main theme from everyone in attendance was what the championship means for the city.

“We have needed this. Chicago has had a bad rap lately,” Deborah Rosa said. “Look how many people are here together; this is wonderful. … They did it for us, and here we are for them.”

Another Cubs fan, Chris Beard, in attendance with his dad said, “Just the whole atmosphere of this place, with everyone coming together in one city, for one team — it’s amazing. … There’s no words to describe it.”

You have heard of bandwagon fans. But for Charmasson, who was a San Diego Padres fan, the parade was big enough for him to switch teams.

“Just the fervor and, again, the fan base in Chicago … I’m a Cubs fan for life,” Charmasson said. “The padres suck.”

Everyone we spoke to seemed happy for the city and at the extraordinary showing of camaraderie from all the attendees.